Original Trainz ReleasesEdit
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What would become the stable Trainz 1.3 or the Trainz Passenger Edition after a series of service packs, began first as a downloadable release in October 2001 like the early circulated copies of the Beta test version, then in December 2001, was, like the boxed Beta test version, released as the original rare published-only-in-Australia boxed CDROM release. The first widely disseminated international release wasn't until the latter part of February 2002, when Auran engaged publishers with regional expertise in the applicable international copyright laws.
Trainz 0.9 (Beta test)Edit
- Public Beta release,
- Broad trial amongst disparate groups with Railroad interests,
especially Model Railroading clubs
Development of Trainz began in October of 1998 per a radio interview with Auran chief programmer Greg Lane. It was an on again, off again effort as design had to address various how-to questions, and while that happened, Lane and other train enthusiasts contacted the train-enthusiast-communities of model railroading clubs and railroad interest groups to hear first hand what was desired in such model-oriented communities in a railway simulator product. One of the participants was local railroad enthusiast Tony Hilliam, N3V Games' CEO, according to the credits of the boxed Trainz 1.1 release.
Many of those contacted began to help on a regular basis via a web chat room and one of Auran's officers used the experience to write a masters or PHD dissertation about the formation of an online community from the coalescence of Auran's community. In the summer of 2001 Beta testing began using a mix of software downloads and a rare boxed CDROM release for those lacking high-speed Internet, the circle of testers gradually widening to include more and more members of the train clubs rapidly increasing the membership of the growing world-wide community, and a stable Beta test version was rapidly attained.[note 1] 'Trainz 0.9' was almost exclusively a downloaded version with an eventual small production run of CDROM based software.
The Trainz Community Edition aka Trainz 1.0 was the name given the original Trainz released mainly by software download in October 2001, and like the Beta test version, in a very limited boxed version.
Subsequently, having a product roughly working and being looked at critically by the many eyes of an highly motivated and interested clientele, Auran proceeded to further refine Trainz with a succession of new major upgrade patches — service packs — individually released almost regularly some months apart culminating with what is best considered the final installment of the original Trainz and it's last and fourth service pack, the Ultimate Trainz Collection, whose principle difference from the SP3 release was as the title somewhat suggests--a lot more additional content resulting from the Trainz communities interested efforts.
It is by today's releases standards, a sparse product with just three Auran authored routes and only partial capabilities of what was to come in the next three–four years of rapid development, but unlike Microsoft, Trainz was clearly aimed not at a general gaming player community, but designed to give the hard core train enthusiast the abilities they needed to model a virtual digital railroad. Unlike Microsoft's focus on players, Trainz was bundled complete with Discreet Computing's GMAX modeling software to satisfy this group of high-interest users, the very community Auran reached out to embrace and involve in its design plans from the outset.
These software upgrades were all generated in 2002 in a improvements synergy with a rapidly growing expansion of an online community. It was first published and distributed [note 4][note 5][note 6] about five months after Microsoft Games released the Microsoft Train Simulator (MSTS), with a better graphics engine. The North American distributor was Strategy First.
Developed over three years beginning in 1998 by Auran Technical guru Greg Lane, a train enthusiast himself, it was meant primarily to give those trains hobbyists a leg up on route building[note 7] with it's powerful Surveyor and to give those users much interested in Driving a taste of the upcoming Trainz experience[note 8] with it's more ambitious far seeing design finally realized in TRS2004 and TRS2006. Lacking both sessions and scenarios, users had to Drive in a free play mode which first required building a (or loading a saved) consist and manually 'mounting' it (or them if several consists were mounted onto a trackmark (these 'invisible-in-driver' arrow-like guides are still in the game with the same name and appearance—but are now used to act as a route-determining destination point (like a GPS waypoint) for the games AI Drivers)
The product didn't contain Content Manager, any ability to download additional content, nor the Surveyor run-time GUI, so consisted solely of the Railyard and Driver modules with the bundled software.
CDROM Title: TRAINZ... Virtual Railroading On Your PC Trainz 1.1 more commonly called the Trainz Retail Edition was released as a boxed CDROM set with a printed manual in the North American markets in February 2002, with Service pack 1 (SP1) already installed by Strategy First. (February).
- Two retail builds (retail versions releases) existed; the English/USA version is commonly known as Trainz 1.0. (Box for Strategy First V1.1 North American release, February 2002, which included Gmax as an accessory is shown at right in lower left corner of the first image above.)
- Follow on software, each update released in 2002 was quick in coming: SP2 (April) and SP3 (June), as was the successor product Trainz UTC (November).
Trainz with two service packs, or Trainz 1.2 had no really widespread colloquial name, since it was so quickly supplanted by Trainz with the third Service Pack, which was also released as a CDROM, service packs installed boxed retail version.
- These service packs progressively updated the Community Edition, Trainz 1.0 in succession to TBV versions 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 respectively.
'Service Pack 3' Edit
Trainz Service pack 3 (SP3) updated both the Community Editions to version 1.3 and was released in early June 2002. While service packs 1&2 both added polish and smoothed out graphics, they were primarily bug fixes software updates in contrast to SP3, which introduced GameScript and TrainzScriptTM software, which allowed run-time software interactivity between modeled assets (ultimately leading to interactive industries and triggered animated effects—which is to say Trainz vaunted interactive realism, despite consistently losing the glamor campaign with second- or third-best graphics versus various competitors[note 9]. For this reason, many old-time Trainzers consider Service Pack 3 or Trainz1.3 to be a separate Trainz release altogether. Thus all USA versions are commonly known as Trainz 1.3.
Trainz Retail EditionEdit
Trainz Retail Edition was released in June 2002 aimed at the United States and other North American markets with a different distributor[note 10] and featured pre-installed Service packs 1 & 2 and two of additional routes or layouts (maps)—one a small 4 baseboard route, 'Highland Valley' worthy of a good basement HO scale model train layout and was used to demonstrate the new Scenarios software capabilities (TrainzScript and GameScript) with three included scenarios and features the first bundled map of more than 150 map boards., and one very long route.
Ultimate Trainz CollectionEdit
- Main topic: Trainz: Ultimate Trainz Collection, with detailed list of improvements added in it's several months of development.
The successor product, Trainz UTC was assigned a trainz-build value of v1.5, and assets created for UTC will have that value as the TB tag value. It is best considered a stable software version with many and varied slight upgrades as things jelled and stabilized in the Trainz community. It is effectively a fourth service pack with added content; improving on Trainz 1.3 in many small ways, but not different enough to be a true new product. The largest benefit of owning UTC, is the excellent set of word processor formatted *.doc files included in the release.
The Ultimate Trainz Collection, or UTC, was released on 26 November 2002 in North American as a 3-CDROM set including extra rolling stock, and included six new maps (most user community generated) with eight or nine TrainzScriptTM based scenarios[note 11]. UTC's additional route map content is based on Trainz 1.3 tech, and expands scenarios to 8[note 12] That is, Trainz UTC (aka UTC) is a Trainz release with all service packs applied, additional 'tweak improvements', plus extra (non-map) content[note 13] UTC was the first edition to include the formerly separately retailed PaintShed program and support RailDriver, as well as the first incorporating Trainz user developed freeware content as part of the release, some of which became Trainz staple content in TRS2004 et. al. through current releases.
Notes and FootnotesEdit
- ↑ By, February 2015, we have witnessed a similar process with the new TANE Community Edition 'allegedly released' for Christmas 2014 and the pending supposed shipment finally of TANE —a 64 bit computing architecture version of Trainz similar to the try by Auran to do that first release. Similar events happened in the TRS2004 release in 2003 (needing four service packs to settle the restless natives) and TS2009 (32 bit software with upgrades) & TS2010 (Both also 4 service packs each).
- ↑ as of 2016-03-22 The TANE release version has a SP2 pending in Beta, a SP1 and two hotfixes released in quick succession inside February and March 2016. Stay tuned... TANE is finally beginning to be a full featured Trainz... but not quite there yet!
- ↑ Both TS09 and TS10's fourth service packs result in equivalent Trainz-build version value of 3.3; the two versions also overlap and share TBV's 3.1 but not 3.2ØP.
• Now in TANE, with the shift to a new 64 bit OS compatible game engine.
- ↑ first made available & published by download in October 2001 by Australian Auran Games, Pty Ltd, Queensland and first distributed there and parts of Oceana as boxed software only by late November – December.
- ↑ It was not published/distributed by Auran's various regional partners until Service Pack 1 (SP1) was available in February which saw North American, UK, and continental European releases by different distributors familiar with their own tangle of international copyrights laws.
- ↑ Auran Games, and N3V Games had, until recently with the founding of Simulator Central, maintained the practice of distribution by different international publishers because of the different local and international copyrights needs ever since, though with fewer and fewer partners able to meet increased localisations needs—a good effect of the greater unity of the European Union. For example, entrenched special interests in the United Kingdom require a CDROM or DVD to be detectable in the computer to satisfy local DRM/copyrights laws—a restriction most of the free world without the corruption of the interests in the British parliament's House of Lords would tolerate in this day and age.
- ↑ Trainz 1.0 ... launching at birth with the primary world building tools of Surveyor organized much as they are arranged even today
- ↑ and to get a foot in the door, least Microsoft steal the lion's share of a niche market without relevant competition. Publishing a somewhat rough version, with a lot of up side potential, was both excitement making to dedicated trains hobbyists, and a good business practice assuring the conversation would include the forthcoming improved product.
- ↑ most of which are defunct
- ↑ Auran has a tradition of releasing distribution rights via local regional software publishing companies, used to complying with sometimes strict or restrictive differences in international law. For example, UK releases typically are required by UK copyright law to require a CDROM or DVD disk in the drive to run the software—a DRM convention that would literally not be tolerated in the much larger USA and Canada markets.
- ↑ One scenario is implemented in both DCC and CAB mode versions, which the newer sessions rules handle more elegantly. Save for this difference, the scenario is the same problem and scoring, so 8 or 9 depending upon how one counts this matter!
- ↑ scenarios are 8 or 9 depending upon viewpoint, the Highland Valley Passenger mission (both published with SP3) in scenario form have a separate launch as DCC and as Cab Mode.
- ↑ a formula Auran would reprise again with Trainz Simulator 2004 Deluxe—the stable version of TR04 with four service packs pre-installed. Most other versions have required at least one Service Pack upgrade to any of it's retail releases, though with late TS2009 and mid-TS2010 Service Pack updates, N3V/Auran finally got auto-upgrading to work correctly, easing decision making upon the new users.
- System Requirements
- Settings Menu Adjustable details:
- no shadows, low draw distance, low draw detail, low train detail.
Intel Pentium II 400mhz processor 128 megs RAM Nvidia TNT2 16mb videocard usable settings: 640x480 display resolution 32 bit color depth
- Recommended Median performance
- Settings Menu Adjustable details:
- shadows enabled, medium-draw distance, medium-draw detail, high train detail.
Intel Pentium III 733mhz processor or equivalent 256 megs RAM Nvidia GeForce2 32mb videocard usable settings: 800x600 display resolution 32 bit color depth
- ↑ Trainz: A New Era Portal, development progress blog, accessdate=1 March 2015
- ↑ per in-box documentation by Canadian distributor for North America Strategy First [homepage], which installs as v1.1.1 per both the Windows registry Hkeys and a Strategy First loading 'Splash Screen'.
- ↑ Route: Robe River, for scenario Robe River Iron as measured 2015-0220 by direct joined-edges counting in surveyor minimap 'steps':
• the track lengths occupy exactly 150 boards,
• and there are probably at least 25 boards in areas (groups of several) that are double-width (spurs or scenery) implementations.
- ↑ "The Ultimate Trainz Collection". GameZone. http://pc.gamezone.com/gamesell/p21095.htm. Retrieved 7 March 2010. [dead link]
- ↑ D:/Auran/Trainz/Readme.htm#1, Section 1 of the install Readme file on the CDROM.